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Re: The Neutron Star
From: Adam Shostack <adam () homeport org>
Date: Fri, 28 Jun 2013 13:47:14 -0400

I'm not going to take a position on this, but the argument that NSA is
being untruthful about this is bolstered by the way in which Clapper
denied having records on millions of Americans while under oath.

Wyden: "'Does the NSA collect any type of data at all on millions or
hundreds of millions of Americans?"
Clapper (under oath) "No"
Snowden: "Well, actually..."

Someone: "Does the NSA collect data from foriegn companies and give it
to American companies:
Clapper: "No"  (ok, I don't know that Clapper has said exactly that,
you get the idea.)

So there are valid reasons to be skeptical of these denials.
Addressing those reasons would help those who'd like to make the case
that NSA has continued its tradition of not delivering data for
commercial advantage, while otherwise going through dramatic
transformations of its mission.

Adam


On Thu, Jun 27, 2013 at 04:27:59PM -0400, Jason Syversen wrote:
| Ditto. If you want to believe the US does that go ahead, you're free to believe
| they planned 9/11 and faked the moon landing too. I've worked inside the
| government and plenty of commercial (including big bids with international
| stakes) and have never once heard of, seen hinted at, or even contemplated the
| USG ever spying for corporate reasons. Ever. And that covers a lot of the IC,
| DoD, etc. Heck the USG is having trouble figuring out how to tell companies
| when they being spied on, much less sharing competitive data from other
| places. 
| 
| That said, if China (and other countries to a lesser extent) don't stop and we
| can't dissuade them,  who knows what will happen. They may decide "if you can't
| beat 'em, join 'em." But that hasn't happened yet. 
| 
| Jason
| 
| On Jun 27, 2013, at 1:36 PM, Richard Bejtlich <taosecurity () gmail com> wrote:
| 
| 
|     To the extent the US IC has ever conducted surveillance against private
|     foreign companies, discovering bribery was the reason. Notice how often
|     bribery appears in the Echelon list.
| 
|     Other cases, like Enercon, are bogus, e.g. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/
|     Enercon#Patent_dispute
| 
|     It's clear that non-Americans (and many Americans) find it hard to believe
|     that the US IC doesn't spy on behalf of American companies, but it's the
|     truth.
| 
|     If US IC economic espionage was such a problem, I would expect more
|     evidence. Everyone points to the same 2001 Echelon report and has nothing
|     else to offer.
| 
|     Richard
| 
| 
|     On Wed, Jun 26, 2013 at 8:38 PM, Fionnbharr <thouth () gmail com> wrote:
| 
|         But the NSA do help American companies win contracts / do industrial
|         espionage. One link I have handy is http://cryptome.org/
|         echelon-ep-fin.htm#10 (scroll down to 10.7 for the list) which has a
|         short list of known cases from the 90's put out by the European
|         parliament. Also note that it's countries that the US would probably
|         consider friendly that they're hacking, not just the main economic
|         rivals.
| 
|         It might not be on the same level as the Chinese but it's disingenuous
|         to suggest American businesses are somehow the innocent bystanders
|         caught in the cross fire or that there isn't some precedent for this
|         behaviour by the US.
| 
| 
|         On 26 June 2013 23:53, Dave Aitel <dave () immunityinc com> wrote:
| 
|             http://usa.chinadaily.com.cn/opinion/2013-06/26/
|             content_16659265.htm
| 
|             Normally I don't like to stick my toe in the neutron star's gravity
|             well that is the NSA-Snowden discussion. But it's important to
|             point out that there are developing standards of behavior being
|             negotiated not between China and the US, but between corporations
|             and governments as a whole.
| 
|             Chinese media has been going on for a week about how the Snowden
|             PRISM revelations about the US hacking China are in some way
|             equitable to the US complaints about Chinese government sponsored
|             hacking for the purposes of economic espionage. This is pure public
|             relations nonsense. The complaints US industry has about Chinese
|             state sponsored hacking is not that it is occurring, but that the
|             fruits of the hacking are being given directly to Chinese companies
|             which compete with US (or European, or Korean, etc.) companies.
| 
|             It is impossible as a US company to go to the NSA and say "Hey, my
|             competitor in China makes a pretty nice bulldozer, can I have the
|             plans to that? Also it'd be nice to know what their bid is on that
|             contract in Malaysia we both want to win." 
| 
|             It's just that simple. Company's hate being forced to give
|             information to their governments, or trojan their networking
|             equipment (in the case of Huawei and ZTE). It's bad for business.
|             Especially when you get caught or it gets leaked (which it ALWAYS
|             does one way or the other).
| 
|             But they hate state-sponsored economic espionage more and I hardly
|             think Chinese companies would enjoy a change in Washington's tune
|             that allowed US companies to employ the full power of the NSA
|             against them.
| 
|             -dave
| 
| 
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